Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele is leaving Kering’s (PRTP.PA) star label after seven years, a source said on Wednesday, confirming earlier reports.
Kering was expected to swiftly confirm the news officially, the source said, adding that there had been tensions between the designer and Kering’s top management.
Women’s Wear Daily (WWD), citing unnamed sources, first announced Michele’s departure in a report overnight.
Both Kering and Gucci declined to comment.
Kering shares opened up 2% on Wednesday, before giving up gains, with analysts saying that a new designer may help to revive sales. They were down 0.7% in early afternoon trading.
Michele, a former accessories designer who took on the top creative role at Gucci in 2015, is credited with reviving the label’s popularity with flamboyant and gender-fluid styles.
Alongside CEO Marco Bizzarri, he oversaw a period of soaring growth between 2015 and 2019, with profits increasing nearly four-fold and revenue almost trebling.
But in recent quarters, Gucci, which accounts for the bulk of Kering’s profits, has begun to lag its peers, with its performance in the key Chinese market becoming a source of concern for investors.